I feel a little ‘guilty’ posting here, because I seem to be posting so regularly. However, I find advice here really helpful, and I know people here have a very wide range of experience.
This post is about my youngest son, who is 22. He has complex mental health issues, which he has received very little intervention for, possibly due to his tendency not to engage with services.
Currently, my main worry is his eating disorder (bulimia nervosa). He has had disordered eating and a strong focus on his physical form for many years (possibly since he was 13), but this manifested as a full blown eating disorder about three years ago.
He has managed to access some support from our community mental health services. He had an ECG and a blood test which showed weakness in the left side of the heart and hyperthyroidism, both of which are almost certainly caused by his binging, restricting and purging behaviours. He receives an hour of counselling once a fortnight.
However, so far, my son has attended three session, and postponed three. He is waiting for the next session to be arranged. Meanwhile, his ED behaviour is out of control. For example, yesterday evening, I returned from visiting my husband (my son’s father) to find my son in the living room, surrounded by carrier bags full of food. He had spent money that was for a car repair on a binge. On Monday he ate out of the rubbish bag because he had eaten everything in the house. We have problems with the plumbing because he will vomit in the kitchen sink, and we cannot easily dispose of the rubbish created. The binging and vomiting goes on for hours. The exercise goes on for hours if he is having a ‘good’ day,.
However, my greatest worry is his health and the possibility that his ED behaviour may take his life. I feel like I cannot really cope with this behaviour and the mental load of watching him engage in activities that could kill him. Yet, I do not know what to do.
I have asked to speak to his mental health worker, but messages are taken and none returned. I have asked for a care assessment, but because he has capacity and will not engage, the request never goes anywhere.
I work from home, and my son has no employment, refuses to claim benefits and his whole life revolves around exercise and food. His behaviour is making it difficult for me to focus on work. What can I do in a situation like this?